- a blog about food and value

Product Review: Foods of Athenry

Siobhan and Paul Lawless, Foods of Athenry

Siobhan and Paul Lawless, Foods of Athenry

Everybody worth knowing likes cake. But although cake is great, much of what we buy on the shop shelves is loaded with artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and added salts. Didn’t you ever wonder why – one year on – that muffin at the back of the press seems so fresh?

The Foods of Athenry, a small business run by native Galwegians Siobhan and Paul Lawless, breaks the mould. I had the chance to sample their sweetness at the Bloom event a few months back, and left with more cake than I could hold in my big greedy hands.

As Siobhan told me about their wheat free Spelt Tea Brack, I struggled hard not to roll my eyes to heaven: everyone knows that wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free cakes are a stodgy, disgraceful waste of existence. Later, as I sat down to eat it, my eyes were still rolling in my head as I contemplated how pointless it would all be.

Then I took a bite, and my eyes rolled in my head as I sank into bliss. This was really, really good. Even Snack Box, who regards fruitcake and brack with utter contempt, admitted that it was great. No wonder they won a silver medal at the Irish Blas na hEireann food awards last October, as well as a Great Taste 09 award a few weeks ago.

Tea Brack Foods of AthenryOm-nom-nom. Siobhan also filled my bag with some delicious muffins: Green Tea, Beetroot, Chocolate and Carrot Muffins were moist, sweet, delicious, and most of all, unique.

The prices are higher than your typical, bog-standard supermarket cake; these products are not cheap, but they’re good value. The product sizes are slightly larger than other stores, and all the produce is prepared fresh: no pre-prepared apple segments, no E numbers, no preservatives. Not that you’d need any preservatives: you’ll wolf these down in minutes. And you can really taste the freshness.

The Foods of Athenry are available throughout Co. Galway, but that’s not good enough for my cake hole. They’ve also expanded into Dunnes Stores Blanchardstown and hopefully will be available in other locations soon.

Price Check:

  • Boxed Fresh Apple Pie/ Crumble or Rhubarb Pie/ Crumble – approx €5.45
  • Soda Bread (650g) – €2.99
  • Soda Bread (400g) – approx €2
  • Wheat/ Dairy/ Sugar Free Spelt Tea Brack – €5.25
  • Dairy/ Sugar Spelt Tea Brack with Wheat – €4.85
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  1. I wholeheartedly agree with this review, foods of athenry make the most delicous brown breads and cakes ive ever tasted, its worth every penny, yum yum yum!!

  2. I’ve been eating Foods of Athenry foods ever since Siobhan and Paul started in business. Their mince pies this Christmas were absolutely delicious, their seeded bread has more seeds than anyone else’s, their tea brack is only delicious (especially toasted and buttered), and they really care about providing great food from the best ingredients. They are conscious of people with food intolerances. Better still, they use recyclable packaging where possible, so it’s minimal environmental impact and maximum taste!

  3. as i am a coeliac im very interested in finding ur produce in shops in westmeath please

  4. If only fresh produce is used how are they able to produce rhubarb tarts all year round? rhubarb is seasonal if I’m not mistaken. Packaging is very good, very inviting, but I’m afraid what’s inside doesn’t match up

  5. Joe: frozen rhubarb, may be?

  6. Definitely not what I’d class as ‘cheap eats’ – very expensive products, and quality varies!

    Love the tea brack and brown bread, but the apple tart I had last week was horrific – the pastry was like sawdust. Nobody in the house wanted to finish it…similar to the mince pies we bought at Christmas; overpriced and disappointing.

    I don’t think I’ll be purchasing FOA products again – just too expensive, and not worth the splurge.